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Legal tech win exclusive: Good news for slicedbread as Freeths signs up to sharedo

Added on the 11th Jul 2018 at 2:27 pm
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In a welcome UK win for slicedbread, top national law firm Freeths has opted to replace its bespoke Lexis Axxia-based case management system with sharedo, which will run alongside Linetime Liberate.

The selection is part of a major overhaul of Freeths technology that has also this year seen the 860-staff firm swap out its sunsetted Lexis Axxia practice management system for Aderant Expert. Both the Aderant and slicedbread implementations will be run through Nikec Hubshare – which, as we revealed at the start of July, Freeths has selected as its new collaborative project management portal.

The Aderant and sharedo implementation are being led by Kathryn Gray, who joined in February as senior implementation manager. Gray led the selection of Hubshare, which she, incidentally, says is “head and shoulders above others in terms of functionality.”

Explaining the selection of sharedo, Freeths chief executive, Peter Smith said*: “After an extensive selection process, the management team unanimously decided that sharedo was the right platform. It ticked all the business requirement boxes, integrates with the other best-in-class systems we are implementing, uses emerging technologies like machine learning and AI and is adaptive—as our needs change we can easily evolve sharedo to match these.

“As a selection team we felt sharedo stood head and shoulders above anything else in the market.”

Linetime will continue to run in certain practice areas such as property.

The win follows the selection of sharedo by leading Australian firm Hall & Wilcox earlier this year. Hall & Wilcox will use sharedo as its core platform to automate matter opening, workflow, case and matter management. The platform will enable them to:

– employ analytics, machine learning and AI to advise on optimum case strategy

– track and manage client KPIs

– collect and present useful analytics for their clients

– enhance their current digital portal platform to allow for deeper participation by clients in their cases at any time, and from any place.

– automate certain aspects of matters to reduce process cycle time and cost

Hall & Wilcox director of client solutions, Peter Campbell: “Sharedo has a modern, web-based interface, which our selection panel unanimously agreed was more engaging, intuitive and user-friendly than anything else we considered.

“The software has a rich, API first architecture and a solid data store. The software runs on standard technologies meaning we can draw from a large pool of cost-effective developers to configure the system.”

The wins are good news for slicedbread, which despite having influential champions in the legal tech world, has yet to gain the kind of traction you may have expected, particularly given the hugely favourable press it received after working with Keoghs on its bespoke CMS, Tracker, which preceded the launch of sharedo.

There are many reasons for that, not least that most IT directors want to swap out their case management systems – as embedded as they are within the firm’s workflow – as much as they want to be hit over the head with a nine iron.

It doesn’t help that Hill Dickinson, which was sharedo’s trophy law firm user, in 2017 spun out the insurance team that uses sharedo to Keoghs, where that team is now using Tracker.

Berwin Leighton Paisner in 2017 became sharedo’s biggest client and it is not yet known how BLP’s subsequent merger with Bryan Cave will affect the use of the CMS.

But at the end of the day much of the delay is cultural: a) law firms are still trying to bend and customise sharedo to their own processes rather than recognising they ought to do the opposite; and b) lawyers are still threatened by what sharedo, used to its full capacity, is capable of.

With clients now demanding efficiencies across all routine work, law firm culture, including the ego of the lawyer, is looking an increasingly poor excuse for not adopting new technology. All of which bodes well for sharedo and slicedbread.

 

*Peter Smith’s quote in full:

“Some time ago we started looking for a modern platform that would allow us to ‘manage’ matters in the most effective way. To us this means a number of things. From a client perspective:

– making sure that the quality of work and client outcomes are excellent;

– making sure that we are delivering those outcomes at the most effective price point for the client; and

– providing transparency to the client at all points in the transaction and providing them with ‘frictionless’ ways of engaging and working with us.

“And from an operational view:

– making sure we are using internal resources effectively, evening out peaks and troughs in our staff utilisation;

– making sure that junior staffs’ work is supervised effectively; and

– ensuring standard best practices are deployed firm-wide.

“After an extensive selection process, the management team unanimously decided that sharedo was the right platform. It ticked all the business requirement boxes, integrates with the other best-in-class systems we are implementing, uses emerging technologies like machine learning and AI and is adaptive—as our needs change we can easily evolve sharedo to match these.

“As a selection team, we felt sharedo stood head and shoulders above anything else in the market.”

 

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